Guivy Zaldastanishvili American Academy in Tbilisi
In 1991, Georgia had a highly educated population, with almost universal basic literacy (99%) and the highest percentage of university graduates in the region. With the collapse of the Georgian economy in the first years of independence, funding for the education sector declined sharply. Schools were in disrepair, teachers went unpaid and the educational models did not reflect democratic principles. Rebuilding the educational system and better preparing students to meet the demands of a market economy were critical to ensuring a prosperous, stable and democratic Georgia.
The Guivy Zaldastanishvili American Academy in Tbilisi (aka the American Academy in Tbilisi) is a private high school, enrolling 290 students, grades 9 through 12. The mission of the school is to help bring Georgia into the 21st century by preparing its children to compete on a global scale, both locally and in schools abroad. The Academy brings highly trained and well-paid teachers to a modern, well-equipped facility that is designed for interactive learning in small classes, and supported by sophisticated technology and laboratories.
The American Academy in Tbilisi was founded in 2001 by Guivy Zaldastanishvili, a Georgian businessman who spent much of his life in the United States, and Donald Thomas, an American educator who taught at and led both public and private schools in the Boston, Massachusetts area. Guivy’s daughter, Elizabeth Zaldastani-Napier and former Georgian Association in the USA President, is a current member of the Academy’s Board of Trustees.
With early financial support from the US State Department, the school was founded to be a model for the transformation of Georgian education as the country of Georgia made the transition from the Soviet system to a democratic free-market economy. The Georgian Association in the USA managed some of those early State Department grants.
For more information about the Academy, please visit their website at www.gzaat.org